This post was written by Sara M. Davis, a Partner at Whiting Law Group.
One of the first questions I am often asked by clients following an injury is “what can we ask for?” This question seems so simple but when one’s life has been devastated by an injury the impact it has on one’s life can be overwhelming.
How do you assign a value to an event that changes the trajectory of someone’s life?
The most honest way to answer this question is that you can’t. As lawyers we can never undue the hurt and devastations caused by an injury. However, we can fight to get our client the fullest compensation allowed under the law.
Personal Injury Damages
In civil law, the recoverable elements are referred to as damages. If a person has suffered a physical and/or psychological injury or the aggravation of an existing physical or psychological injury the claim is referred to as bodily injury. For bodily injury claims, one can ask the jury for the medical expenses they have incurred receiving treatment for the injuries caused by the accident or event. The individual is also entitled to compensation for treatment that they will need in the future. Further, one is entitled to compensation if the injury they suffered puts them at a greater risk of future harm or shortens one’s life expectancy.
An injured person is also entitled to compensation for lost wages. This can include lost opportunities, lost ability to advance, and lost time from work. For the injured person who can not return to work or cannot return to work in the position they once held they are entitled to future lost wages. There is also compensation for additional caretaking expenses incurred as a result of disability stemming from the injury such as hiring someone to assist them at home or in the yard. Those recoverable elements of damages are referred to as economic losses.
There are also non-economic losses that are recoverable. This includes the pain and suffering from the claimed injury from the date of the event as well as pain and suffering reasonably certain to continue into the future. This is where the testimony of medical professionals is so important to establish a permanent injury. Examples include the pain of a back surgery or the nerve damage that makes movement difficult as well as countless others. An injured individual is also entitled to recover for any deformity or scarring they have suffered. There is also recovery for disability or loss of normal life. This category of recoverable damages is a person’s temporary or permanent inability to enjoy life including the pleasurable aspects of life. This is often where the day to day struggle of the injured party is described. The parties they missed, the holidays spent in pain, the loss of a hobby or sport, etc. The ways that an injury can effect one’s life are countless and often specific to the individual.
The Value of Quality Attorneys
The help of skilled personal injury lawyers, like the team at the Whiting Law Group, ensures that every aspect of recoverable damages is persuasively presented and compensated. This often includes hiring necessary experts, creating demonstrative exhibits such as day in the life videos, and always includes working closely with clients to ensure our understanding of the injury they are suffering and the struggle they are enduring so that it is fully and persuasively conveyed to the insurance company or ultimately if necessary a jury.
This brief discussion is not meant to be exhaustive and is not a substitute for discussing your injury with a lawyer. Please call the Whiting Law Group with any questions or concerns. There is always an attorney ready to speak with you.